Moon Knight is dead. Now he is resurrected.
But things are strange.
Scarlet is with him at his resurrection.
Moon Knight rises from the dead and walks through a gauntlet of his early appearances and from Moon Knight Volume 1, like Bushman, Scarlet, Black Spectre and Werewolf by Night.
Koshnu tells him he has been resurrected to fight another God.
Next, we’re taken to Grant Mansion where Frenchie and Marlene have been “drawn to the location” despite the fact that Marc Spector is dead.
This time, unlike when Doug Moench first told the story of Moon Knight, it seems clear that he’s actually, for realsies, been resurrected from the dead. No ambiguity. Even Frenchie can’t deny it. It’s an absolutely stellar first issue.
Classic Doug Moench, and startlingly good art by Tommy Lee Edwards. The art looks like so many noir comics of the 2000s and today, but this came out in 1998, making Edwards ahead of his time.
And so he sets out to find out why he “died.”
In the series, Scarlet is Moon Knight’s connection to the mission.
She selects the targets, and he takes them out. Throughout, there are many references and appearances of characters from Moon Knight volume one…And no reference to the mediocre (and worse) comics that followed that amazing, classic run. The evil version of Koshnu is bringing all of Moon Knight’s enemies back from the dead, and Spector has to take them out for a second time. I love that idea; if Spector can come back from the dead, then why not those he vanquished?
And of course, as Moench always does, we’re left unsure whether the moon God was even a real thing.
The “Batman” stuff is largely gone, although I did enjoy this reference to “Mr. Markham” in Ravencroft Asylum. Very slick.
In the end, Moench is content to leave Moon Knight’s resurrection ambiguous again.
If Morpheus is at work then all of Moon Knight’s history since volume 1 is suspect: Maybe he never died.
Maybe he never was part of the West Coast Avengers? A brilliant retcon. Much, much better than the attempt to reconcile his strange past that Bendis would do a decade later.
Usually, “it was all a dream” is a cop-out ending. But this time, it’s brilliant.
This series set us up for the chance to have a good Moon Knight series again. But mostly, it reminded us that the character works best when he’s written by Doug Moench. It’s 1998, and for 20 years he’s the only one who was able to write truly great Moon Knight comics.
He made his point so well, Marvel gave him a series: Moon Knight volume 4.
Also there’s a very strange scene where Marlene is asked if Steven Grant is black, and she says…
That’s a “black guys have big dicks” joke, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure it is.